The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq

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JHU Press, Sep 13, 2004 - History - 594 pages
3 Reviews

"The first casualty when war comes, is truth," said American Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917. In his gripping, now-classic history of war journalism, Phillip Knightley shows just how right Johnson was. From William Howard Russell, who described the appalling conditions of the Crimean War in the Times of London, to the ranks of reporters, photographers, and cameramen who captured the realities of war in Vietnam, The First Casualty tells a fascinating story of heroism and collusion, censorship and suppression.

Since Vietnam, Knightley reveals, governments have become much more adept at managing the media, as highlighted in chapters on the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and the conflict between NATO and Serbia over Kosovo. And in a new chapter on the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Knightley details even greater degrees of government manipulation and media complicity, as evidenced by the "embedding" of reporters in military units and the uncritical, openly patriotic coverage of these conflicts. "The age of the war correspondent as hero," he concludes, "appears to be over." Fully updated, The First Casualty remains required reading for anyone concerned about freedom of the press, journalistic responsibility, and the nature of modern warfare.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - douboy50 - LibraryThing

This review is for the 1975 edition which covers the period from the Crimean War through Viet Nam. My son just purchased the 2004 edition which goes into Iraq. In effect, my son's edition adds about 4 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

This is a 1975 book and covers reporting from the war zone in every war from the Crimean to Vietnam. The author, an Australian, finds war correspondents have generally done a poor job in getting facts ... Read full review

Contents

The Miserable Parent of a Luckless Tribe 18541856
1
The First Challenge 18611865
19
The Golden Age 18651914
43
Quite Another Game 18991902
67
The Last War 19141918
83
Enter America 19171918
121
The Remedy for Bolshevism is Bullets 19171919
147
The Real Scoop 19351936
185
Korea The United NationsWar 19501953
365
Algeria is French 19541962
391
Vietnam 19541975
409
War is Fun 19541975
441
Britannia Rules the News 19751989
469
The Deadly Video Game 19901991
483
The Militarys Final Victory MarchJune 1999
501
No More Heroes MarchApril 2003
527

Commitment in Spain 19361939
207
Their Finest Hour 19391941
237
The Struggle For Mother Russia 19411945
265
Remember Pearl Harbour 19371945
293
Never Again 19401945
331
Selected Bibliography
549
Notes on Sources
553
Index
571
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About the author (2004)

Phillip Knightley was an award-winning investigative journalist with the Sunday Times for twenty years. He has written numerous books, including The Master Spy: The Story of Kim Philby, and a memoir, A Hack's Progress. He lives in London and travels widely to write and lecture.